Tales my grandmother told me … 2
Yes we can! …but we must start. Action and not mere words is what makes the difference. Let's act upon our words.
Ever wondered the things that are left untouched or undone in your life - things that you have not been able to dare yourself to try? We often fill our minds with the thought that we simply cannot! But the fact is that …we may not be able to, not that we cannot. This implies that we might as well be able to, if we tried. Yes we can! (Permit me to borrow the catch phrase of the moment). This phrase has inspired and keeps inspiring a lot of people all over the world – from children walking along neatly manicured green lawns on the streets of London to people, kneeling with bare hands on an untidy floor blowing smoky fire-woods parked together in between strategically positioned blocks to make do for a stove. Even they, if only they are lucky enough to hear the famous phrase … are inspired …at least to blow harder the smoky fire-woods to get their fire sparked into flames more quickly!
The magic that really makes the difference is usually that extra little push – that push that is often lost when you get to a point on the road and begin to think and say to yourself that you cannot. But Yes You Can. Oh sure, the catch phrase inspires everyone who is privileged enough to have come across its usage especially in association with President Obama, the World President (oh, just my humble opinion, it's ok if you don't think he is).
But how many of us really know what exactly it is that we can? What is it that we are so much determined (or maybe seem determined) to do? Most of us shamefully do not seem to have clearly defined the object of our determination and pursuit. It is good, beautiful, and even honourable to know and yell …Yes We Can! … but it is also important, perhaps more crucial to know exactly what it is that we can.
Ghanaians especially have taken a special interest in the catch phrase and it is not uncommon to hear people virtually recite the magic phrase or see them display it on buildings, vehicles and other public and personal items.
I tell you, my grandmother told me this tale also, a long, long time ago before President Obama became a world figure for people like you and I to be privileged enough to at least hear him echo the powerful words.
She would say, Efua, as she called me, ”tso! nawor nua kabakaba” meaning get up and get at it quickly. When I used to cry that I wouldn't be able to sell all the yakayake (a meal prepared from cassava dough, usually eaten with fried fish and hot pepper) which I carried on a tray moving from one house to the other, shouting …”yakayake dzodzoeeeee”,
My grandmother always told me, "choooooooo, Efua, ewor ge, yakayakea vorvorge fifilaaaaaaa, ne edze gome koa” this means “come on, Efua, you can do it ….the yakayake would soon get finished if you only started with your sales right now”.
With those words, of encouragement, I would step out, more confident and happier, entering the cluttered homesteads in my village shouting with my melodious voice ….yakayake dzodzoeeee va dooooooo (your hot yakayake is here). I tell you I made some very loyal customers who do not know my name till date and still referred to me as “our charming yakayake seller” when they saw me at my grandmother's funeral two years ago.
I often returned home with an empty tray with all my yakayake sold out. It made me happy even as a child because I had delivered, well.
When things get tough, or even go wrong, (trust me, they will, every now and then), don't fret too much telling yourself that you can't. Often times, with the right attitude and determination, you'd realize that you are actually more than capable. As my English professor would say, you'd come to an epiphany and marvel at what you are capable of.
It is a fact that you may not be able but not a fact that you cannot.
Oh how I miss my grandmother's delicious and special yakayake. Thank God I learned to prepare it. So all that I need to do now is to leave you here and go START preparing some yakayake for myself (oh yes, I can!). You may come for a treat over the weekend.
This is just another of my grandmother's many tales. The journey continues, hope you are enjoying it.
Posted by Brooke Nuwati
Development / Ghana / Africa / Modernghana.com